04:24 PM GMT February 21, 2019
French wild card Ugo Humbert recorded the biggest win of his career on Thursday by beating World No. 12 Borna Coric 6-3, 6-3 in 80 minutes for a place in the Open 13 Provence quarter-finals.
“My level was good today, very positive,” said the 20-year-old Humbert, a contender to qualify at this year's Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. “The atmosphere was great, and it's always easier when you aren’t the favourite. This was the first time I played a player ranked that high. I was able to stay calm and played well.”
Humbert, competing at a career-high No. 75 in the ATP Rankings, broke Coric’s serve three times and will next play German qualifier Matthias Bachinger, who was solid on serve in overcoming Fernando Verdasco, the fifth-seeded Spaniard, 6-4, 6-3 in 77 minutes.
“I watched Ugo in his last match,” said Coric, who will now travel to compete at next week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. “I tried pretty much everything today. He returned well, mixed up his serve and didn’t miss many balls.”
Russia’s Andrey Rublev backed up his victory over three-time Marseille champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with a 6-3, 7-6(2) win over Matteo Berrettini of Italy in one hour and 37 minutes. He will next play Kazakhstani Mikhail Kukushkin, who beat fourth seed Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday.
Third seed David Goffin reached his first ATP Tour quarter-final of the season, battling past home favourite Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3. After a pair of early breaks, the two were back on serve in the second until Goffin won the rally of the match and broke Paire for a 5-3 lead.
The usually quiet Belgian celebrated the break with a fist pump and a shout to the crowd. He will meet Gilles Simon for the fifth time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, which is tied at 2-2.
“Benoit can play very well. I'm happy with the victory tonight,” Goffin said. “I need to go through those kinds of matches in order to improve match after match. Every athlete goes through moments of doubt.”